The deportation was carried out by American and Egyptian personnel on Swedish ground, with Swedish servicemen apparently as passive onlookers. Sweden had negotiated guarantees from Egypt, however, there are allegations that both men were tortured, but Sweden has been unable to prove or disprove these allegations, due to refusal by Egyptian authorities to allow proper investigations. Alzery was released without charges after two years in prison, but was not allowed to leave his village, nor could he speak to foreigners. Agiza was sentenced to 15 years in prison in a military tribunal. Both men had sought asylum in Sweden; Zery using a false passport.
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Having concluded its consideration of communication No. Having taken into account all written information made available to it by the author of the communication, and the State party,. The author of the communication, dated 29 July , is Mr. Mohammed Alzery, an Egyptian national born on 23 September He claims to be victim of violations by Sweden of articles 2; 7; 13 and 14 of the Covenant, and of article 1 of the First Optional Protocol.
He is represented by counsel see, however, paras. In order to be in a position appropriately to resolve the admissibility issues raised, counsel was also requested to demonstrate, in the light of the State party's submissions set out in paragraph 4. During his studies he was active in an organization involved in Islamist opposition inter alia distributing flyers, participating in meetings and lectures and read the Koran for the children in his village.
The author acknowledges opposition to the government but disputes any contention he supported violence. In , he completed his studies and decided the same year to leave the country, having been harassed and repeatedly arrested by the Egyptian Security Services because of his activities in the organization.
At one point, he contends he was seized and tortured hung up-side-down by the ankles, beaten and "dipped" head first in water. Before being released, he states he was forced to sign an agreement forswearing future involvement in the organization, failing which the next arrest would be "forever".
Using his own passport but a false visa, he entered Saudi Arabia where he lived until when he in turn departed for Syria. In , he felt forced to leave Syria since a number of Egyptian nationals had been extradited back to Egypt. He obtained a false Danish passport and departed for Sweden where he arrived in 4 August He immediately sought asylum in his own name and admitted to having used a false passport in order to be able to enter the country. The author submitted in support of his claim for asylum that he had been physically assaulted and tortured in Egypt; that he had felt that he was being watched and his home had been searched; that after his departure from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and then Syria he had been sought at his parents' home; that he feared being brought before a military court if returned to Egypt on charges of being member of an illegal organisation; and that he was afraid that he would be arrested and tortured.
He was detained from 4 to 18 August due to uncertainty as to his identity. Deciding not to prolong detention, the then Immigration Board decided that although there was uncertainty as to the author's identity and he had utilised a false passport which created a risk of absconding, his placement under surveillance would suffice in lieu of detention.
In the same facsimile message, the lawyer provided an affidavit to the effect that the author was one of the accused in proceedings concerning membership in a forbidden organization likely to be handled by a military tribunal.
An article in the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat described the case and named the author, stating that he had been charged in his absence. The article stated that the organization in question supported a continued armed struggle against the Egyptian government and that members would be tried before a military court, depriving them the right to a fair trial, inter alia as a conviction in a military court could not be appealed.
The author denied any ties to the organization, but states that he feared arrest on false accusations if returned to Egypt. He also states that the Swedish Embassy in Cairo could not confirm that there was such a case as the newspaper had alleged or that Mr. Alzery was one of the suspects. On 31 January , a statement was requested from the Swedish Security Police, whose functions include assessment of whether asylum cases are of a nature that consideration must be given to national security before a residence permit is granted.
In April , the Security Police commenced an investigation, and interviewed the author in June During the interview, he stated that he had never been involved with the movement he was accused of being involved in, and that he strongly rejected any violence as a mean to reach any political goal.
He however believed that he would be arrested and tortured if returned to Egypt because of these wrongful accusations. The author was allowed to read the transcript of the hearing in September , but was not informed of the conclusions drawn from this interview. On 12 November , the Migration Board, while of the view that the author could be considered in need of protection, referred the matter to the Government for a decision pursuant to the Aliens Act, given the security issues involved.
Having received the Migration Board's case file, the Aliens Appeals Board, while sharing the Migration Board's view of the merits, also considered that the Government should decide the case. The purpose was to determine whether it would be possible, without violating Sweden's international obligations, including under the Covenant, to order the author's return to Egypt. Having considered the option of obtaining assurances from the Egyptian authorities in respect of his future treatment, the Government had made the assessment that it was both possible and meaningful to inquire whether guarantees could be obtained that the author would be treated in accordance with international law upon his return to Egypt.
Without such guarantees, his expulsion to Egypt would not have been an alternative. It is further the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden that these persons will not be subjected to inhuman treatment or punishment of any kind by any authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt and further that they will not be sentenced to death or if such a sentence has been imposed that it will not be executed by any competent authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Finally, it is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom if Sweden that the wife and children of [another individual] will not in anyway be persecuted or harassed by any authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt. This will be done according to what the Egyptian constitution and law stipulates. The author states that it remains unclear what other kind of follow-up mechanisms were discussed and decided upon prior to the expulsion. While the Swedish Government had since indicated that there had been discussions about the right to visit the author in prison, this remained unconfirmed.
The Government noted the content of the guarantees that had been issued by a senior representative of the Egyptian government. Although in the light of the circumstances and the author's contentions as to his past conduct, his fear of persecution was considered to be well founded, entitling him protection in Sweden, the Government considered that he could be excluded from refugee status.
In its decision, the Government concluded on the basis of intelligence services information that the author was involved, in a leading position and role, in the activities of an organization implicated in terrorist activities, and that he should be refused protection. The Government was of the view in this respect that the assurances procured were sufficient to comply with Sweden's obligations of non-refoulement.
The Government ordered the author's immediate expulsion. According to the State party, no force was used in the arrest. He was informed that his application for asylum had been rejected and was then brought to a Stockholm remand prison. At the time of his arrest, the author was on the phone with then legal counsel, but the call was cut short. In the detention centre, he allegedly asked permission to call his lawyer but this request was rejected.
After a few hours in detention, he was transferred by vehicle to Bromma airport. He was then escorted to the police station at the airport, where he was handed over to some ten foreign agents in civilian clothes and hoods. Later investigations by the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman, disclosed that the hooded individuals were United States' and Egyptian security agents. The hooded agents slit the author's clothes with a pair of scissors and examined each piece of cloth before placing it in a plastic bag.
Another agent checked his hair, mouths and lips, while a third agent took photographs, according to Swedish officers who witnessed the searches. When his clothes were cut off his body, he was handcuffed and chained to his feet.
He was then drugged per rectum with some form of tranquilliser and placed in diapers. He was then dressed in overalls and escorted to the plane blindfolded, hooded and barefooted. Two representatives from the Embassy of the United States of America were also present during the apprehension and treatment of the applicant.
In an aircraft registered abroad, he was placed on the floor in an awkward and painful position, with chains restricting further movement. The blindfold and hood stayed on throughout the transfer including when he was handed over to Egyptian military security at Cairo airport some five hours later. According to his then Swedish counsel, the blindfold remained on until 20 February , and was only removed for a few days in connection with visits by the Swedish Ambassador on 23 January and an interview with a Swedish journalist in February In a hearing before the Swedish Standing Committee on the Constitution in April , the then Foreign Minister stated that: "I still believe that we can trust the Egyptian authorities.
If it turns out that they cannot be trusted, we will have to get back to this issue. But everything we have seen so far indicates that we can trust them.
The Government has not received any information which would cast doubt at this conclusion. The author advanced complaints about the treatment in the presence of not only the Ambassador but also of the warden and five other Egyptian men.
Egyptian personnel took notes, in the Ambassador's view in order to assess the interpretation from Arabic to English. It was regularly the case, and accepted by the visitors from the Embassy, that prison security personnel or the warden were present and even participated in the discussions with the author.
On many occasions, the Swedish representatives asked direct questions of the Egyptian prison personnel present, or they spontaneously commented on the author's statements.
The interlocutor rejected the accusations as something to be expected from "terrorists". Swedish authorities accepted this explanation and did not act on it any further. The next visit occurred after the passage of five weeks. In a diplomatic report of 2 February from the Swedish Ambassador to his Ministry for Foreign Affairs, he informed: "We agreed about the following routines for the visits by the Embassy: Visits shall take place once a month at a time to our own choice.
We shall inform [redacted] a few days in advance that we want to conduct the visit so that his office can arrange the technical details. He states that for a further five weeks he was interrogated and this time harshly ill-treated, including electric shocks applied to genitals, nipples and ears. The torture was monitored by doctors who also put ointment on the skin after torture in order not to leave any scars.
He was forced to confess to crimes he had not committed, and was questioned about activities such as arranging meetings for the forbidden organization he was active for and opposing "the system". Despite the reprisals, the author continued to attempt to convey information as to the treatment suffered, as detailed in the Ambassador's report following a second visit on 7 March They did however give signals and indications that something was not right: I therefore wanted to ask: Had they been tortured or maltreated since my last visit?
I then asked him to take off his shirt and undershirt and turn around. No signs of maltreatment were visible. One of the Egyptian officials observed afterwards that [the other individual] was clearly trying to hint by means of his evasive formulations that he had in fact been maltreated, without coming out and saying so directly ….
The following can be noted from the other information the two men provided during the conversation: …. They both avoided answering my question concerning their daily routine. In conclusion I asked whether there was anything else they wished to say to me. The answer was a hope that I would come back soon, along with the comment that "it's hard being in prison.
In summary, nothing emerged to change my judgment from my first visit that [the author and the other individual] are doing reasonably well under the circumstances. There was nothing to suggest torture or ill treatment.
On 20 February , he was moved to another correction centre where he was kept in small isolation cell measuring 1. On three or four occasions in , he was called to hearings before a prosecutor for decision on his continued detention. At the first hearing in March , the author complained of the torture and ill-treatment that he had suffered. He was not provided with hearing records. Although represented by a lawyer at the time, the latter did not react to his statement, which left the author to speak on his own behalf at subsequent hearings.
The decision to keep him in detention was always upheld, the prosecutor relying on emergency laws but without formally charging the author. On 9 September , the Swedish Ambassador, during a visit to the author, requested the prison authorities to allow the author to sign a power of attorney sent to the Embassy by the author's then Swedish counsel, for purposes of an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
On 26 September , the Ambassador informed counsel by fax that as the author was detained, he did not have a right to sign the power of attorney. The Egyptian Embassy, for its part, did however not answer a request by counsel for assistance. In late , the author was partially informed of the reason for his detention. He was alleged to be one of some members of a forbidden organisation, with respect to which criminal proceedings had been instituted in
Having concluded its consideration of communication No. Having taken into account all written information made available to it by the author of the communication, and the State party,. The author of the communication, dated 29 July , is Mr. Mohammed Alzery, an Egyptian national born on 23 September He claims to be victim of violations by Sweden of articles 2; 7; 13 and 14 of the Covenant, and of article 1 of the First Optional Protocol. He is represented by counsel see, however, paras.
Repatriation of Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery
The government of Sweden expelled al-Zari and Agiza, both suspected of terrorist activities, following written assurances from the Egyptian authorities that they would not be subject to the death penalty, tortured, or ill-treated, and would receive fair trials. Swedish and Egyptian authorities also agreed on a post-return monitoring mechanism involving visits to the men in prison. The men had no opportunity under Swedish law to challenge the legality of their expulsions or the reliability of the Egyptian assurances. Agiza and al-Zari were held incommunicado for five weeks after their return. Agiza remains in prison to date after a patently unfair retrial in April He is not permitted to speak with journalists or human rights groups. Mohammed al-Zari is currently seeking monetary compensation from Sweden for physical and psychological rehabilitation, and permanent residency in Sweden in order to join his family who reside there.
Mohammed Alzery v. Sweden